We all know that a successful ecommerce business starts with a solid brand identity. After all, it’s the brand that will attract consumers and convert them into loyalists. But in today’s digital age, establishing your brand identity and connecting with consumers is all about the visuals. This means the success of your brand depends on the success of your designs. Digital branding begins with website design, and there’s a lot to be learned from the top designs in the industry. Here, we take a look at some of the best ecommerce designs and hone in on key takeaways for your brand.
1. Marucci Sports
Marucci Sports is an online retailer of all things baseball, specializing in handcrafted, professionally endorsed bats. The simple color palate, flat design, and geometric layouts of the site lend themselves to an overall minimalistic design, which facilitates a smooth and easy-to-navigate shopping experience. But the real star here is the company’s story: Marucci is a brand founded by two former Big Leaguers who maintain close ties to the industry and its players.
This story encapsulates the brand’s identity, and it’s incorporated into every single page on the site. Videos, powerful photographs, smart typography schemes, and strategically placed testimonials all work to showcase the brand’s relationship to real-life, professional ball players. But the grid layout and overall simplicity of the site’s navigation work to make sure the brand’s story doesn’t detract from the user’s shopping experience. Rather, it enhances it.
Your company’s brand is the complete emotional and intellectual image of your company. It encompasses the physical and emotional feelings that are triggered by your company name, logo, and visual identity. Incorporating a personal story, such as the Marucci one, is a powerful way to disseminate your brand’s message to consumers. What’s more, finding subtle ways to incorporate your message into each page of your website helps invoke feelings of trust, authenticity, and reliability. These feelings are what convert customers into loyalists.
2. Di Bruno Bros.
Di Bruno Bros. is a specialty food retailer, with an affinity for gourmet cheese. The company maintains five retail locations, in addition to an impressive ecommerce division. Upon visiting the site, the user is instantaneously immersed in powerful images of specialty cheese, meats, and condiments.
The abundant graphics are an assault on the senses, but in the most perfect way. The grid layout gives order and structure to the images, allowing the user to easily navigate around the site. But the vivid imagery, coupled with short and sweet text snippets, is what heightens the overall interactivity of the site. It’s entirely exploratory and immediately invites the user in, to discover something new.
What’s more, the strategic image-text pairings on this site work to create an energizing user experience. The site effectively brings the retail shop to the screen, creating an extremely interactive experience.
With the evolution of technology and digital design, users are now starting to crave interactive experiences more than ever. Knowing how to use new design elements—animations, slides, filters, typography, etc.—can allow you to connect with your consumers in a whole new dimension. But you have to be careful. Choosing to use these elements in a smart, creative, streamlined fashion is what’s going to convert consumers into loyalists for your brand.
You need to create an experience that’s immersive but easy to navigate—one that’s going to beg the shopper to return for more.
One of the world’s leading sports and apparel retailers, Nike is a phenomenal example of a company who knows the importance of evolving a brand. “Our job is to wake up the consumers. If we become predictable, that’s not waking them up,” says Nike founder, Phil Knight. And this drive to wake consumers up in the digital age has led the creative team at Nike to constantly work on their website.
With 75% of Nike’s customers now mobile, the latest changes in their web design are those that offer the best mobile-first UX, the retailer can offer. These design elements include grid layouts, simple navigation, storytelling, smart typography schemes, and of course, an ode to minimalism.
But perhaps the strongest testament to the success of the Nike brand is the power of their logo design. Subtle changes have been made to the logo throughout the years, but the swoosh still remains. It encompasses everything the brand stands for, and as the brand’s identity evolves—from flight, victory, and speed to determination, hip authenticity, and self-awareness—the swoosh holds steady. No matter how much the web design elements may change, Nike’s designers are very much aware of the importance of the brand’s logo. And so it remains firmly rooted on every single page of the site.
Logo designs are the foundation of a company’s brand and an integral part of visual identity. The best logos are the ones that can trigger immediate emotional and physical responses to the brand. And the Nike swoosh has effectively disseminated feelings of the brand throughout all stages of the company’s brand evolution. The logo is vital to the life of the brand, and thus it remains an integral part of every single design the retail giant puts out there. In short, the Nike swoosh epitomizes the power, a logo has to carry your brand across the world.
Putting it all together
With these three websites, we have only just begun to scratch the surface of the best ecommerce designs out there. And while these are a good place to start, take advantage of all your resources and continue scouring the web for more design inspiration. But remember that behind the color palates, shapes, lines, and layouts, the best sites in the industry all keep a few important factors in mind.
Creating a powerful storyline and message is definitive to your brand’s success. Be sure to carry out this message as often as possible in your web design. Secondly, consumers are craving interactivity, and you need to deliver it to them.
Interactive elements are going to heighten your connection and your brand’s overall reach. Lastly, don’t forget the power of the logo. This is your brand’s touch-face to the digital marketplace. Use it well. Use it wisely. And use it often.